Going On Vacation? 5 Tips To Secure Your Home

By Sherry Holmes

Mike’s Advice / Sherry

Tuesday, July 16th, 2019 @ 9:13am

I’m a busy gal. I’ve got a new baby, we’re filming some new shows, and it’s the middle of summer. Between the job site, the office – and as many trips to dad’s pool that Cali and I can fit in, let’s just say, I’m not at home too much.

Being as busy we are, I like to make sure that our home is safe while we’re away. 

Whether you’re busy running around or going away on vacation, you’ll want to make sure you keep your home as  when you’re not there.. Here are some tips to secure your home when you’re not there..

5. Install Motion Sensing Lights

Motion sensing lights placed around the home are a common item for homeowners. After all, if you’re coming in after dark, they can help light your way into the home safely. But did you know they also create some much-needed security on your property? Installing motion-activated lights around your entryways, garages, and even your windows can go a long way to deterring would-be thieves. If the lights go on as soon as someone approaches, well, that will make them think twice about going any further.

Don’t neglect to have timers for your lights, either. They’ll switch on and off during the day while you’re gone making the house look lived in while you’re away. However,if someone is savvy enough, they can watch your home for a few days and begin to realize a pattern when the house lights up it might clue them in that you’re away.


Photo of a home with motion lights from Holmes Approved Homes builder Zeina Homes

You need to one up these kinds of intruders and go one step farther. With smart lights, you can control which lights go on and when, right from your phone. If you have all of this set up you can then switch up when the lights flick on and off each day to keep them guessing. I have my lights set to the Eaton Home Automation Hub, which let’s me control my lights, locks, and more

4. Smart Locks Means Safety

Technology continues to improve and continues to solve many problems that we’ve had over the years. A problem I use to have and I’m sure you have as well is: have you ever traveled far away from your home only to realize you forgot to lock the front door of your house? Now there’s an app on your phone you can check to see whether it is locked or not — and you can lock and unlock the door directly from your phone.

We’ve been talking about smart locks for awhile, and have heard many concerns about smart locks and their reliability when it comes to safety. You need to do your research before buying a smart lock because there’s a lot of good ones that are secure from hacking — just keep in mind that they still need a good deadbolt to go with it to have a safe door. The Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt is what I trust to use on my home.

Watch below to see how I use the Schlage Sense™ Smart Lock on a front door.

A really neat feature is also digital keys. A digital key will help someone who is watching your home while you’re away, whether it’s a neighbour or friend to use they key and you’ll get a notification on your phone when the key is activated. When you return home from your vacation you don’t have to worry about tracking down a physical copy of your key because you can simply deactivate the digital key which is a nice feature. I love it because I don’t have to fumble for my keys when I’ve got my arms bundled down with all of Cali’s baby stuff.

Another thing worth noting about smart locks is that they look the same as a physical lock, meaning that a burglar won’t be able to tell the difference. This is a good security feature in itself because you will be notified in the event that a door or window gets broken into, keeping you updated of any security breaches while you’re away.

3. Protect Your Home From Mother Nature

I’ve been talking a lot about security breaches and watching for intruders or burglars but another big worry is Mother Nature itself while you’re away. What are some things to keep in mind from all that can come from Mother Nature while you’re away?

One of the most upsetting things a homeowner can face is coming home to a flooded basement after a vacation. Mother Nature is unpredictable – you never know when a major summer storm will hit.

If a storm were to come and cause flooding into the city sewers and goes beyond its capacities, that water can go right back up to your sewer drain and cause a backflow.

You can prevent sewage backflow by installation a backwater valve that will detect high water levels that creep in your basement from sewer lines and close it in meaning it will direct that water flow in one direction: away from your home.

2. Keep Up With Your Landscaping

If you’re gone for awhile you’ll want to ask a neighbour or a friend to attend to your yard while you’re away. 


That’s one for sure sign of that a homeowner is away – when the grass looks like it hasn’t been cut for awhile!

Another issue that can arise is trimming any overgrown trees, which can damage your home in high winds. You never know what the weather will be like while you’re away. If you’re going away on vacation in the winter you need to do something about heavy ice on branches directly above your home. If they were to fall, it could cause serious damage to your home. It’s also important to have someone shovel your driveway during the winter. A neighbour, or a professional landscaper can keep your driveway and walkways clear. Remember: if an accident happens on your property while you’re away (like a mail carrier slipping and falling), you could be held liable!

1. Keep Some Things Private

I love social media – if I’m on my phone, you can usually find me on Instagram. Social media has become such a huge part of our lives, especially for people my age. 


One tip my dad loves to share – and I agree with him, is that posting tons of vacation photos basically alerts everyone to the fact that your home is empty. 

Keep the vacation photos to a minimum. Once you get home, upload them to your social media pages. You’ll have #ThrowbackThursday content for weeks!

With these tips in mind you’ll be much more prepared for your next vacation and so will your home. Safe travels.


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